Music and poetry transcend boundaries of time, of space, of culture. This is known. But, not often does a 15th century Kabir effortlessly flow into a 20th century John Lennon creation. Or that you find, in Leonard Cohen’s work, the echoes of Asian poets from the 17th and 13th centuries. Similarly, when injustices of caste and class even in the United Kingdom find articulation in the works of Dalit poets. This, then, is when music, truly,
Farzana Whitfield is the subject librarian for South Asia and Development Studies at SOAS. Here she looks back on her family’s personal experience and memories of Partition. This article has previously appeared on SOAS’s library blog. This August marks 70 years of India’s independence from British rule (15th August) giving birth to 2 nations- a Hindu majority India and a Muslim majority Pakistan (14th August). Subsequently there were 3 wars between
Amina Yaqin is Senior Lecturer in Urdu and Postcolonial Studies in the Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia, SOAS. The recent assassination of the renowned qawwali singer Amjad Fareed Sabri in the name of piety in Pakistan has revived the question of the permissibility of music in Pakistani culture. Sabri was shot on June 22nd 2016 by attackers on a motorcycle while he was driving his car in Liaquatabad,
A SOAS Exhibition organized in collaboration with the British Library, National Museum of Iran and UNESCO Parzor Foundation, Delhi The Everlasting Flame Exhibition, which is currently ongoing at the National Museum in New Delhi, was inaugurated on 19 March 2016. The exhibition was originally produced by SOAS, University of London, in 2013. In 2016, to mark SOAS’ centenary year celebrations, the exhibition has been taken to Delhi. Dr. Najma Heptulla, Hon’ble Minister for Minority
I’ve just returned from the Kumbh Melā at Nasik, the first since that at Allahabad in February 2013 at which I was made a mahant (a cross between an abbot and a brigadier) of the Ramanandi religious order. The ceremony was recorded in the documentary film ‘West Meets East’, which finally got a UK airing on BBC4 on 9th September this year (available on the BBC iPlayer).
Amnesias and Remembrances of 1984: The Spins of Commemoration in the year of ‘lest we forget’ by Navtej Purewal
2014 has been a year of commemorations and remembrances of the events of 1984. June 2014 marked the 30th anniversary of Operation Blue Star, the code name for the Indian army storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Operation Blue Star is also referred to as the second ghallughara (transl. carnage, holocaust). November 2014 marked the 30th anniversary of the anti-Sikh pogroms which followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi who
October 31 2014 will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the carnage in Delhi. Despite the gravity of those events, we refuse to confront the failures of our institutions and significance of those events. It would appear that ‘might is right’ has become our only political principle. We should remember that the hateful language of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was a major factor in